by Lori Donnester
The 2019 National Assembly for the Ladies of Charity USA was held in Salt Lake City on September 20-21. As a member of the group in Salt Lake City, I must tell you we were a little jittery about hosting it here. We heard the convention in Pittsburgh in 2018 was something else. There were about 400 ladies that went to that, and the Pittsburgh women made nine dozen home made cookies each. Nine dozen! Quite impressive. We all agreed that we wanted to put our own twist on this convention. And did we ever!
We talked about the convention at each of our meetings so that by the time it came around, we knew what we had to do. Carol Huffman, our Treasurer, came up with many creative ideas. One of them was a booklet about all things Utah. I must admit I was a little overwhelmed when she showed us the project– it looked hard. But we got together many Sunday afternoons to put these together, and I really looked forward to it! We sat and chatted as we worked, and the time flew by. I got so much more out of it than I put in. The final product was outstanding, and our members from out of state enjoyed learning about Utah. Carol’s creativity didn’t stop there. She also made lip balm with her granddaughter, and all the members found this in their bags.
We helped introduce the attendees to Utah before they even arrived by writing articles about Utah that appeared in national emails. We took shifts to greet our guests and get them checked in. We gave them advice on how to get to things that they wanted to see in Utah and made them feel at home.
The bottom line is that we worked together to create a good experience for our visitors. No one kept track of how much or how little anyone else was doing. We all just pitched in where we could, and we enjoyed each other’s company while we were doing it.
Here are some of the comments from our members regarding what it meant to have the national assembly held here:
- The National Board helped so much. Special recognition to Suzanne Johnson.
- Although I wasn’t in favor of holding the national assembly here, I’m pleased with how it turned out. We did it!
- It’s always uplifting and rejuvenating to hear about other associations’ programs.
- I found the speakers such as No One Dies Alone, Welfare Square, and Home Boy Industries informative and inspiring. I also appreciated the opportunity to meet, talk, and pray with women from across the country. I liked learning about the challenges and rewards of their projects.
- The convention was well organized. Attendees were gracious and welcoming. But the Masses were best of all. They were uplifting and spiritual.
- I couldn’t come to everything, but the best part for me was the way the local ladies worked together. We now have stronger friendships and our bond of unity was strengthened.
- Loved the Bishop’s welcoming and the Masses as well as many of the speakers.
- I enjoyed learning how St. Vincent de Paul started Ladies of Charity. It was good to meet and hear what woman across the USA are doing. What lovely women they are!
I’m sure the Ladies of Charity chapter in Bountiful enjoyed their participation too as they helped with the decorations and the raffle.
The result was a very satisfied group of women who had a new, fun experience to talk about and new friends too.
It’s funny how love makes things work, isn’t it?